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Air conditioning on the tube could actually make trains hotter

Written by
Isabelle Aron

If you had the misfortune of travelling on the tube during yesterday's mini-heatwave, you'll have probably been cursing the lack of air conditioning on those sweaty tube carriages. But according to Paul Priestman, chairman of design studio PriestmanGoode (the company designing the new tube trains), installing air conditioning on the tube could actually make it hotter. 

Sure, it sounds like a load of hot air. But there's some truth behind it, honest. Speaking on the BBC's Today Programme, Priestman said that the tube doors are open longer than they're shut, which means that all the cool air would spill out of the train. And to make things even sweatier, the motor for the air conditioning would also generate heat.

He added that the older, deep-level tube stations aren't ventilated enough to allow the trains to cool down. So, will we just have to sweat it out on the tube forever? Hopefully not. TfL has briefed PriestmanGoode to make the new tube trains 30 percent more efficient, which means more trains in use and less stop time on the platform, which will hopefully result in a slightly cooler temperature. But you'll have to wait at least another nine years for the cool new trains to be in action, as they're planned to launch on the Piccadilly, Bakerloo and Central lines from 2025.

Photo: Chris Billington

In other tube news, all the adverts at Clapham Common tube station have been replaced with pictures of cats

And this is the worst tube station for pickpocketing

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